classic steingarten, funny, controversial, mouth watering, informative, audacious and provoking. 500 pages of his essays on food and drink, mostly usa and france, with sides to china and thailand and lots of recipes that take 2-4 days and need a flea market table top rotisserie and 12 different brands of espresso makers. but really, he does look into food myths like cheese being bad for your heart and red wine being good. he also smuggles in french cheese (with full customs declarations), attempts smuggling in fen/phen from mexico, and finds a great taco place in mexico where he attempts to learn how to make tortillas (lard is one of the secrets and softer flour) and learns some great recipes for carne asada, salsa fresca and salsa piquante plus liquidy guacamole sauce. and on. at times his verbosity gets in the way of the telling but that is his style, and worth it to get his insights on food, cooking and nutrition. has a great index.